A quick stop at the Caltex petrol station in Jeffreys Bay to buy a coffee turned into a nightmare for a local property developer as he briefly became a hostage when armed men robbed the shop yesterday 6 November.
Nicholas Melck had just paid for his coffee and was walking towards the coffee machine when he noticed a well dressed African male standing at the entrance of the shop at the Caltex garage.
“The first thing that caught my attention is that he was wearing an expensive shirt and as I approached he must have thought I wanted to leave the shop.
As I was about to pass him, I saw he was holding a pistol and he pushed it close to my stomach and told me that I am not leaving and I must go stand in the shop away from the counter,” said Melck.
“The robber was polite and very calm and a well built guy – not somebody you would pick a fight with even if he didnt have a gun in his hand.
I then noticed a scuffle at the counter where another robber had a choke hold on the security guard who was collecting the money. He took the guard’s gun and forced him to hand over the cash.
While this was happening, the robber at the door was keeping an eye on me and the other people in the shop. The ladies who worked behind the counter had both managed to flee into the office and locked the door behind them.”
According to Melck, the robbers then calmly walked out of the shop, got into a waiting car and drove off in the direction of the Jeffreys Bay town.
People who were getting their cars washed were not even aware a robbery had taken place and another client inside the shop was also unaware – that’s how professional the robbery was, added Melck.
“It was all over in probably less than a minute and once the alarm was activated, it took Smhart security about two minutes to respond,” said the shaken property developer.
The South African Police have confirmed they are investigating a case of robbery at a business premises, with an undisclosed amount of cash being stolen during the incident.
They have appealed to business owners to be vigilant of any suspicious behaviour and to increase their security measures, especially with the festive season approaching.
Anyone who might be able to assist with information, can contact the Jeffreys Bay Police at 042 200 6800 or Crime Stop number 08600 10111.